Bitterlekker: A Sophisticated Nonalcoholic Aperitif by Babylonstoren

Bitterlekker: A Sophisticated Nonalcoholic Aperitif by Babylonstoren Evgeniya Savina

Blood orange, herbs and botanicals infuse this palate-teasing nonalcoholic aperitif.

The fragrance of citrus blossom, aromas of sun-kissed herbs, the hum of insects, an immaculate network of peach-pip paths leading you to explore what’s edible and what’s medicinal… the Babylonstoren gardens have a magic all their own. They embody the dream of self-sufficient organic living and make it look easy – infused with the inimitable style of owner Karen Roos – so that around every corner is a photo opportunity: the gorgeous textures of an insect hotel, a woven nest seat hidden among trees, a shady path through clivias in bloom, and the cool glass-walled tasting lounge where you drink in stunning views while sipping on the wine farm’s latest rosé and MCC.

How it started

Babylonstoren Farm Bitterlekker

Babylonstoren first became known as an elegant Winelands destination soon after the gardens were laid out back in 2007 with the design expertise of French architect, Patrice Taravella. Babel restaurant and the picnic-style Greenhouse restaurant were immediately sought after for the fresh organic produce grown in the gardens; the hotel, cottages and spa for their secluded peace, farm chic and idyllic setting. Then people wanted to take home more than memories and the lemons they had picked, and so the farm shop opened – first with its bespoke range of fine-living linens and décor, later adding exquisite pantry items and fresh produce from the farm, garden and bakery, a dedicated cheesery and a separate meat room, and the scented heaven with its essential-oils distillery, soap factory and juice-making facility.

From the garden to your door

Babylonstoren Greenhouse

Babylonstoren extended its offering, with an online shop that delivers beautifully packaged farm-fresh items in selected areas in Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg – everything from freshly baked breads and pastries to buffalo-milk yoghurt, fresh farm eggs, meats, cheeses, recipe packs, soups and sauces, wine, olive oil, raw honey, baked goods and sumptuous scented spoils.

Then came Bitterlekker

Babylonstoren Bitterlekker

If you were to bottle the essence of a visit to Babylonstoren, sans alcohol, this delightful aperitif is very much what you’d expect. Bitterlekker is a unique, lightly sparkling infusion of blood orange with a secret blend of botanicals from the garden, capturing the spirit of the Cape Floral landscape in each sophisticated sip. Prettily packaged in Delft-patterned cardboard six-packs, the shapely 100ml glass bottles are a design statement in themselves.

How to enjoy Bitterlekker

Babylonstoren Bitterlekker Aperitif
Paige Wood Photography

We started by swigging delicately from the chilled bottles around the braai – they’re seriously cute and it seems a shame not to enjoy the tactile twist pattern of the glass. But the full bouquet of bitter and lekker aromas come into their own when the aperitif is poured over crushed ice and those hints of herbs, citrus and aromatics, underpinned by the deep warmth of honeybush, hit your nose as well as your tastebuds. Elegantly palate-teasing in the way of a G+T or Campari, with a character all its own and zero alcohol, Bitterlekker is a wonderfully refreshing aperitif for sophisticated summer sipping.

Babylonstoren Nonalcoholic Aperitif

Delivery fee Free (orders over R500)
Delivery times Monday – Friday, 8am – 4.30pm
Contact details 021 300 3919,

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Farm-fresh items are delivered to selected areas in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and surrounding areas (CBD, Southern and Northern Suburbs, Cape Winelands and Somerset West). Other items in the online store can be delivered straight to your door. Babylonstoren delivers to your doorstep in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.

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